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neil williamson
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 06:38 am:   

Got a bunch of corrections to make to a document, and a meeting at 16.15.

Then it's out the door.
Round the corner to the pub.
Get the beers in (A long cold lager, I think. Just the thing on this gloriously sunny Glasgow day).
And watch, watch, watch the Costa Ricans taking Germany apart.

Probably.

I'm so excited!
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 07:49 am:   

Me too. Mind you, the mere mention of Costa Rica makes my blood run cold. I think you'll know what I mean, Neil. But if they beat the Germans, then that'll go to show that their victory over Scotland them years ago was no fluke. Great team, Costa Rica.
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neil williamson
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 07:57 am:   

You know, I'd almost managed to forget the blood-running-cold-in-my-veins feeling of that goal going in.

But, it appears, not quite.

Thanks for reminding me, Alistair.

How do you feel about the Italians then?
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 08:11 am:   

Yes, sorry to bring up bad memories with less an hour to go for kick-off!!!

About Italy, it's really strange. I'd say they've got the strongest squad after Brazil, and I do quite fancy their chances. But the whole mentality thing is the problem, and what with the scandal of the match-fixing, there's a real lack of atmosphere and build-up that's really surprising.

The scandal has definitely sickened a lot of people here, so much so that a lot of the enthusiasm for the World Cup has evapourated into thin air. But it's also true that the big competitions never really get going over here until after the group stages. They simply take it for granted that they'll qualify (fair enough, cause they normally do) and then that's when the big excitement starts to kick in.

But if Italy get some momentum going I do reckon they'll be very hard to stop. They've got world class players in virtually every position, and if Totti plays as well as he can he's as good as anybody. Toni is a player to watch out for. He's been fantastic this seaons in Seria A and he's doing the business for Italy as well. Check out the size of the guy. He's actually very big and has a real deft touch--a defender's nightmare.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 08:13 am:   

Well, I'm off to the pub. Viva la Costa Rica! (or something along those lines).
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neil williamson
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 08:39 am:   

The scandal was why I was asking, Alistair. It's all a bit weird, isn't it?

But aye, i thought they played well within themselves when they played us in the qualifiers, but you're right they've definitely got some top players. Toni I've heard lots about but not seen yet. And I like Pirlo for the dead balls too.
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Jason Williams
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 11:51 am:   

Well, Costa Rica is toast today.

I won't get to see any of the games today, alas. But tomorrow--all three!

Jeff
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2006 - 02:27 am:   

Funnily enough, Neil, everything seems to have gone all quiet about the scandal just now. They obviously want to calm things down during the world cup. And Pirlo, indeed, is a fine player. He's become a sort of linchpin for the whole team. Almost a sort of Talisman. If you notice these days he's always in the starting line-up. You could argue that he's actually Italy's most important player, even though he's not the most talked about.

That was quite a match between Germany and Costa Rica. Credit to both of them for such an entertaining game. And Equador, wow! Tactically, they got everything spot on.

And, today, England v Paraguay. A tricky opener for England. Paraguay have a got a pretty good record in world cups, though I reckon England will prove too strong. Should be one hell of a game. I think the English have worked themselves up into such a frenzy that they're ready to explode. Utimate glory or total disaster beckons. But which one will it be!!!
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2006 - 02:37 am:   

Jeff, how does the showing of games actually happen in the US? Is it satellite TV or national stations that show it? Or is it pay for view or something?

Generally there's a sort of universal principle that World Cups should be shown on national TV the whole world over so that everyone can see the games. But in Italy this year, they've done a dastardly thing in that about two thirds of the games are being shown on Sky while only about a third are being shown on the national station RAI. When the deal was made it caused quite a fuss and there were strikes etc. by journalists protesting against it, but they failed in the end to change matters.

It's pretty annoying, and really goes against the ethics of such a big sporting occasion. But maybe this is the norm in the US? Certainly in the UK, all matches are shown on terrestrial TV, I think, are they??? Or were.
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sean wright
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2006 - 03:58 am:   

On last night's performance, I hope England get to play Germany in the last 16. The Germans were rubbish at the back.

Sean Wright
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JV
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2006 - 07:01 am:   

Hey, guys. It's actually national stations showing ALL of the games. On the Spanish channel, too. So the games are airing at 9am, 12pm, and 2:50 pm for the most part. Perfect for weekends. And not so perfect for weekdays when I'm at work. But still--better than getting up at two in the morning!

JeffV
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neillw
Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2006 - 08:04 am:   

Sean - On today's performance I'm not sure Germany will be terribly worried about their defensive frailties.

England have got real problems if Owen isn't fit for the next match.
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Sean Wright
Posted on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 01:41 pm:   

Neil, I agree. Owen is dynamite, as is Rooney. Why did Erikson order those guys to play sooo negatively in the 2nd half?

England need Jimmy Johnston to get around the back of the opponents defence and whip in a cross or two!!!
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neil williamson
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 01:25 am:   

Ah, if only he weren't a/ retired, b/ Scottish, and c/ dead, Sean you might have a point. To be honest you're right though - Neville and Ashley, the full backs, need to get to that byline more often and get the ball into the box.

Can't speak for Sven's decisions, but the change he made - taking Owen off and moving Cole in to link with Crouch *could* have worked for them.

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